[dropcap]I[/dropcap] was surprised to see my neighbor’s wife grinning at me this morning. My neighbor, a retired colonel was a friendly sort of fellow but his wife acted as if I was a foot soldier who was too small to converse with.
“How’s business?” she asked after the grin.
“I’m a writer!” I said.
“How interesting!” she cried in a high-pitched voice I’d never heard before and which I’m sure many generals and admirals had found attractive some moons ago; I didn’t.
“You are just the person I’m looking for!”
“Why?” I asked wondering whether the old Colonel was watching me through his window with a loaded musket.
“Because you need me!” she said breathlessly.
“Does your husband know?” I asked carefully.
“Of course! He’s the one who’s encouraged me to start selling insurance! It is very difficult to manage on a colonel’s salary!”
“You are an insurance agent?” I asked, realizing now why she was so friendly.
“You need me,” she said coming closer.
“I am only a writer,” I said, “there’s nothing much about me worth insuring.”
“You don’t know anything,” said my neighbor’s wife as she came closer to me, “do you know Bruce Springsteen the singer insured his voice for £3.5million!”
“You don’t say so!” I said smelling her perfume from close up and even a hint of the Colonel’s aftershave, “that’s a lot of money!”
“Well, Jimmy Durante insured his nose for $50,000 dollars!”
“His nose!” I exclaimed.
“Yes and Dolly Parton her breasts for six hundred thousand dollars!”
“Undervalued!” I said.
“That was in the seventies,” said the colonel’s wife, “but today Miss Lopez’s buttocks are valued at a billion!”
“Wow!” I said that’s a lot of money!”
“That’s a lot of buttocks!”
“Yes,” I agreed thinking of JLo and Dolly Parton.
“Now do you see how much artists insure their assets for? You as a writer should see your assets are insured.”
I was wondering what asset of mine I could insure when I saw the Colonel peering out of his house, “What are you doing with him?” he asked his wife.
“Selling him insurance!”
“Him?” asked the Colonel looking at me like a prisoner of war.
“Yes, husband, you told me to talk to our neighbor, this morning!”
“Not this neighbor,” said the Colonel, “I told you to talk our neighbors opposite, this fellow’s only a writer! He has nothing to insure!”
“If JLo can insure her buttocks and Parton her bust, why not my brains?” I asked.
“Idiot!” shouted the colonel.
“My husband is a good assessor..!” smiled my neighbor’s wife as she left me with the faint smell of the Colonel’s aftershave.